Living in an NYC borough like Manhattan or Queens might be the dream for many. However, a few years in the Big Apple can make you pretty tired of the fast-paced life, high prices, and worst of all, the traffic. This feeling is what makes a lot of people want to move out of the city just as much as they wanted to move in.
If you’re someone who relates, you’re probably thinking of moving to Tampa, Florida. Most residents describe Tampa as a growing metropolitan area with a vacation right on the shore. It is calmer, slower, and sunnier compared to New York City. Sounds tempting? Here’s our guide on moving from NYC to Tampa, so that you can have an easier time making a decision.
Arguably, the biggest difference between the cities of New York and Tampa is the weather. While NYC has cold, harsh winters and winds that could blow you away, Tampa offers sunny beaches, hot and humid summers, and an overall warmer climate that most people enjoy.
To put it on a scale, the average temperature throughout the year in NYC can range from 28°F to 85°F. The winters in NYC are cold, snowy, and windy, while the summers are warm, humid, and wet. On the other hand, the average temperature in Tampa can vary from 52°F and 90°F. The summer season in Tampa is typically long, wet, and hot, while the winters are short, cold, and windy.
When it comes to precipitation, the city of New York sees almost 120 days where it receives some sort of precipitation. Usually, this city sees rainfall throughout the year with about 4 months of snowfall between November and April.
The city of Tampa sees a similar pattern with its rainfall. However, the difference in seasons is extreme. While the rainfall is rather mild for the major part of the year, it does go up to double that of NYC in monsoons. Due to its subtropical climate, Tampa receives no snowfall.
Cost Of Living
The cost of living in Tampa is the second-best reason to move here, bested only by the sunshine. According to Salary.com, the overall cost of living in Tampa is about 47% lower than it is in New York. Of course, the percentage does fluctuate a little with individual expenses. But, pretty much everything costs less in Tampa.
Buying A House
After ending 2021 as one of the hottest real estate markets in the country, Tampa has managed to keep the good job up in 2022 as well. In fact, Zillow has ranked Tampa first in the list of the hottest real estate markets, launching it from the fourth rank last year. Even then, Tampa has managed to keep its average home value close to half of that in New York City, making it extremely attractive to a new homebuyer.
One thing to note is that Tampa is a seller’s market. So, it might not be all things nice when you are looking for a place of your own. Here is a table based on data from Zillow to give you a clear idea of the housing costs.
New York City
Median Home Value
Renting A House
In the last few years, the city of Tampa has seen a miniature explosion in the number of people moving to this city and looking for rental places as their first homes. This has caused a supply deficit in the city that, in turn, has caused the rents in Tampa to soar like never before.
However, if you’re moving here from New York City, you will still end up spending less here on rent. This may not come as a surprise to you, but it’s definitely something that you might not have to mull over.
New York City
If you are moving from NYC to Cigar City, taxes are something you might be happy to talk about. Starting with the best one first, let’s talk about income taxes. While NYC charges its residents an effective income tax rate of 5.18%, the state of Florida itself does not charge any personal income tax.
When it comes to the sales tax, the state of Florida, and consequently the city of Tampa, levies a sales tax rate of 6% on all its residents. The sales tax in New York City is a rate of 8.875%, making it almost 3% more expensive to buy things in the Big Apple.
Property taxes in these two cities follow suit, with Tampa charging less than New York. However, the property tax rates in these two cities are very close. The city of Tampa collects property taxes at an effective rate of 0.83%, while NYC does the same at about 0.88%.
According to data from SmartAsset and the Florida Tax Guide, it is safe to say that living in Tampa is much more affordable, thanks to the tax rates.
The cost of living in any location is one of the most important factors when deciding whether you want to live there or not. If you are planning on moving from New York to Tampa, the difference in the cost of living might blow your mind. According to Payscale, the cost of living in New York City is about 130% higher than the national average, while the same is 5% lower than the national average in Tampa, Florida.
Speaking of the operational costs in Tampa, you will end up spending around $165 for basic utilities like garbage disposal, electricity, water, and heating. If you get a decent internet connection for yourself, your monthly bills will go up by $65 per month.
The next most important thing for living anywhere is the cost of food. If you’re the kind to find yourself in the kitchen more often than not, you’ll be spending around $3.33 for a loaf of bread, $2.0 for a gallon of milk, and $1.80 for a carton of eggs in Tampa. A meal for two in a mid-range restaurant will hurt your wallet for $60 on average.
The cost of healthcare in Tampa, Florida is about 2% lower than the national average. This means that you might find yourself paying $108 for a typical visit to the doctor’s office. If it is your pet making that visit, the vet will end up charging you around $49.
It’s no surprise that the total crime rate in Tampa is lower than that in New York City. However, the numbers might not be as far apart as you think. The total crime rate in New York City, according to NeighborhoodScout, is 25.80, while that in Tampa is 21.92.
In Tampa, the violent crime rate here is 5.57, which is slightly higher than the national average of 4. These numbers bring the chances of becoming a victim of violent crimes in Tampa to 1 in 179.
On the other hand, this city sees the number of property crimes dipping below the national average. The property crime rate in Tampa is 16.34, while the national average is 19. These numbers bring the chances of becoming a victim of property crimes in Tampa to 1 in 61.
The economies in New York City and Tampa are poles apart. Speaking only of the numbers, the city of New York sees an average household income that is only 19% below the national average, while Tampa sees the average to be 40% below the national average according to data from Payscale.
However, the growth of the job market, as well as the overall economy, has been positive in Tampa. In the last ten years, the city of Tampa saw a 21.5% increase in the number of jobs, according to Bestplaces.net. The city of Tampa also has 3.6% less unemployment compared to NYC.
The biggest reason for the positive trends in Tampa’s economy is the drivers like the Avionics, Defense, and Marine electronics industries. These are accompanied by business and information services, medical and microelectronics manufacturing, and tourism.
Some of the bigger names in the Tampa job market are a few Fortune 500 companies like Publix Super Markets, Jabil, and Roper Technologies. However, the biggest employers in the area are BayCare Health Systems, HCA West Florida Division, and the University Of South Florida.
All of these factors bring the GDP of Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater to 169 million dollars in 2020. Payscale puts the average annual household income in this city close to $67,000, which is almost in line with the national average of $67,520. This comes as good news to people wanting to move to Tampa as you need around $77,000 per year to have what is called a ‘good’ salary in this city. Here is a table based on data taken from Zillow, to give you an idea of the average incomes of both places.
New York City
Average Income Per Year
All of these factors brought the unemployment rate in this city to 3.3% in December of 2021, which is lower than the national average unemployment rate at the same time: 3.9%.
The Big Guava i.e. Tampa is an educational giant in its own way. For K-12 education, the city is divided into four primary school districts, one of which is the best in the state of Florida according to 2CollegeBrothers.com. When it comes to higher education, Tampa Bay is home to more than 70 universities, colleges, and technical institutions. It’s safe to say that this city takes its education seriously. To help you choose the best of the best, here is a list of the best schools and colleges in and around Tampa, Florida.
Bryant Elementary School
Chiles Elementary School
Horizon Charter School Of Tampa
Coleman Middle School
Plant High School
Sickles High School
Colleges And Universities
University Of Tampa
University Of South Florida
Traffic And Transportation
The public transportation systems in both cities are quite extensive. However, the city of New York gets its reputation from the two modes of transport that cover the entire city–the subway and the bus network. On the other hand, the public transportation network in the Big Guava gets its reputation for being diversified and rather fun.
Don’t get us wrong, you still need a car to gain access to every cranny of the city. However, having a strong enough public transport network that lets you get around without owning a car at all is no distant dream in Tampa.
To begin with, you have the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit, or HART, that runs 10 routes through Downtown, Tampa Heights, and Ybor City. HART also has six express routes that serve the Downtown area exclusively. At $2 for a one-way ticket, HART is one of the most affordable ways to get around Tampa.
You also have the TECO Line Streetcars that cover 2.7 miles of Downtown Tampa through Ybor City. There are 11 stations on this line and the fleet of streetcars crosses them every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Although limited, this service covers one of the busiest areas in town for free.
Rental bikes, scooters, and water taxis are some of the newest modes of transport in this city. Since it is on a coast, the city of Tampa has made an amazing network of water taxis that cover 15 stops in Downtown Tampa, Harbour Islands, Tampa Heights, and Davis Islands.
Once you are in town, look for the JUMP, Lime, Bird, and Spin logos for the four scooter-rental companies working in downtown Tampa. On the other hand, the entirety of the bike network is maintained by Coast Bikes, so that’s the logo you have to keep an eye out for! The bikes and scooters are parked in their own parking racks across the city. You can unlock a vehicle of your choice for a nominal fee, generally around $1, and ride around town. You can also park these scooters or bikes in any designated parking racks and be done with your trip.
If you are a frequent flyer, you will find yourself in one of the three major airports in Tampa. These are the Tampa International Airport, St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport, and Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. All of these airports have great connectivity to the state, country, and the rest of the world. However, the airport closest to the city is Tampa International. So, you might find yourself flying in and out of there more often than not.
Downtown Tampa is arguably the best area for young professionals and students to move into. It is one of the liveliest neighborhoods in the city and has a number of pubs, restaurants, and events, with the backdrop of the multiple waterfronts in the area. The best part is, there are multiple housing options, with everything between apartments and multi-family houses.
Median Home Value: $353,125
Monthly Median Rent: $1,220
Annual Median Household Income: $49,770
Like an anti-hero to Downtown, the neighborhood of Uptown puts you closest to the economic hubs as well as multiple educational institutions like the University Of South Florida. All 19 square miles of this neighborhood are undergoing some serious renovations and this might become one of the hottest areas in the city.
Median Home Value: $302,801
Monthly Median Rent: $1,499
Annual Median Household Income: $51,330
Located in the middle of the city, Ybor City is the only neighborhood designated as a National Historic Landmark District. Founded in 1886, this district has a very ingrained Cuban feel amidst a crowd of restaurants, entertainment, and bars. That being said, its closeness to the more urban areas and a mix of apartments and single-family homes makes it favorable for young families and professionals alike. One thing that goes beyond all tangible aspects of this neighborhood is that it has a very tight-knit community.
Median Home Value: $165,500
Monthly Median Rent: $990
Annual Median Household Income: $32,650
Davis Islands has to be one of the most affluent neighborhoods in all of Tampa. After all, it is a neighborhood that was built on two man-made islands that were developed with the exclusive intention of being affluent. Davis Islands is a very laid-back area with a lot of amenities and one of the best boating communities in the state.
The access to the waterfront and the denser areas of the city, without the hustle and bustle of the city, is what makes this neighborhood favorable to professionals as well as retirees.
Moving is a gigantic task regardless of whether you do it on your own or hire someone to do it for you. If you do decide to hire someone, it is not just the task of transporting your stuff that you have to pay for. You have to pay for packing, packing equipment, special care of the more breakable items, and then the task of moving. While there are packers and movers that will give you a single bill for all of it, we recommend you ask for an itemized bill detailing the specifics of the costs. That being said, when moving from NYC to Tampa, you will end up spending around $3,000 on average, according to All Around Moving.
A lot of people might think that the decision to move from NYC to Tampa might be for a calmer lifestyle, or for the lesser costs of everything. However, that is not it. Tampa has some amazing job opportunities and even better amenities. Of course, the lesser prices are an added benefit.
You might have to dig in deeper when you are actually moving, but, rest assured that if you are reading this, you already know what to expect when you move to Tampa.
While the average cost of moving from New York to Florida is $3,000, you might find yourself paying anywhere between $1,700 to $5,000, depending on what movers you choose, their packing equipment, and packing method.
Should I Move From NYC To Florida?
While New York is the dream destination for many, moving away from it has its own benefits. A lot of people choose to move to Florida for the tax advantages, lower cost of living, or even the calmer, warmer climate.
Is It Better To Live In Florida Or NYC?
If you are the kind of person who is looking for a calmer pace of life, lower tax rates, and easy access to a beach, living in Florida is definitely for you.
Alex Sherr is the founder of My Long Distance Movers, a blog that provides moving information and resources for people who are relocating. He has more than two decades of experience in the moving and relocation industry, and he is passionate about helping people relocate smoothly and efficiently. When he's not writing or blogging, Alex enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.